Thursday, May 2, 2013

An Example of Journalistic Integrity

If you've followed the the New York Times article from my Stay Calm & Farm On Blog, you know that my greatest issue with the article was that the reporter never contacted me to verify the information she received.  This is still true to date and yet the story has been reposted on no less than 35+ websites last time I checked.  Blogger activists have regurgitated the same information on website after website and only ONE reporter has contacted me... my local paper, The Delmarva Farmer.

Kudos to them, they showed integrity and did so in a fair and balanced manner.

Last week, they ran the story about the online petition that was started to have me and another dietitian removed from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics "Advanced Technology in Food Production" committee because we are perceived to be unduly influenced by industry, specifically Monsanto. In my case, because I was selected as one of the national finalists for Farm Mom of the Year, a program sponsored by Monsanto, and received prize money for that award, I'm accused of being unable to make professional, unbiased decisions related to biotechnology. The New York Times was mistakenly told that I was a "test farmer" for Monsanto as well. This is inaccurate on 2 fronts - 1. Monsanto has no "test farmer" program, and 2. Our farming operation as never done research for Monsanto. Furthermore, I don't make any seed purchase decisions or enter any grain contracts for our farm, so that perception of bias is totally unfounded. Last week, the Delmarva Farmer ran an article from my point of view and gave me the opportunity to present my perspective.

Here is a link to that story:

This blog is about journalistic integrity because that is my main complaint with the New York Times. They did not attempt to get any balance or alternate perspectives. They never once reached out to me unlike the Delmarva Farmer who did reach out to the dietitian who filed a complaint against me. Her view point was published in this week's Delmarva Farmer, as was the response from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics  regarding the NY Times article.

The Delmarva Farmer publishes Carole Bartolotto's view point:

The paper also publishes the Dietetic Association's response:

Why am I giving you all these links? To illustrate what journalistic integrity looks like. Journalistic integrity does due diligence as evidenced by the inclusion of each of these articles in The Delmarva Farmer. They didn't shy away from being balanced. They didn't shirk their integrity by not offering multiple perspectives. 

Thank you Bruce Hotchkiss and The Delmarva Farmer for doing what Stephanie Strom and the New York Times did not, practice good journalistic integrity. 


  1. Hi Jennie,
    Wow, what a great response from the Academy! I know it doesn't set the record straight with everyone, but it does with many and I am glad you have it for your own peace of mind.
    Thanks for all your hard work.

  2. Jennie your farmer friends article is incorrect. He says in his article that I was kicked off the committee and then I "pointed the finger at you and Marianne." That is totally not true. I send an email to Kari Kren way before I was kicked off. You can see the dates on the emails here:

    I contacted the Delmarva Farmer and told them that their info was incorrect. I was told it would be fixed but it was not. I would not call that integrity?

  3. Carole, if I understand you correctly, you want them to correct in the newspaper that you pointed the finger first and then got kicked off instead of the other way around? And not publishing a correction to the error in the sequence of events shows a lack of integrity? Since the full newspaper is not available online, I'm assuming you know this because your a print subscriber to the Delmarva Farmer? Regardless of whether a correction was published or not, at least they gave you the opportunity to have your position published which is more than the NY Times afforded me.

  4. Jennie, your links to Delmarva Farmer are no longer going to the articles. Are they archived anywhere?

    1. I see that... I will have to check with the editor. Not sure why that happened. Thx 4 the heads up about it.

    2. The links have been repaired. Thanks for the notification. I did not know they were no longer going to the original articles.


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